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San Antonio’s Tobin Center names resident theater company: AtticRep

SAN ANTONIO — When Mike Fresher, CEO of the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, started trying to identify the strongest theater company in town, one name kept coming up: AtticRep.

He sought them out. And, after two months of meetings, the Tobin has named AtticRep its resident theater company.

“Our job is to put together a world-class performing arts venue,” Fresher said. “Their job is to bring world-class theater performances.”

The theater troupe currently is based at the Attic Theatre at Trinity University.

“We are graduating,” joked Rick Frederick, the company’s managing director. “It’s been a long degree program.”

The company joins six other resident companies at the Tobin: the San Antonio Symphony, Ballet San Antonio, Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, Children’s Chorus of San Antonio, Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio and The Opera San Antonio.

AtticRep most likely won’t be the last resident company added to the Tobin roster. The number of resident companies “is not set. It will never be set,” Fresher said.

Among the possibilities down the line is adding a resident dance company focused on a form other than ballet or a resident jazz group.

Convergent Theatre Company, a fledgling troupe, had been listed as a resident company on the Tobin website before Fresher was hired in April.

“We reassessed our resident groups and determined that AtticRep was the right fit for us,” Fresher said. “I think Convergent has a future. We’re very supportive of what they’re doing. And I look forward to working with them down the road.”

AtticRep, which produced its first show in 2006, has earned a reputation for solid work and high production values.

“AtticRep has a proven track record of presenting really stellar performances and very challenging work, which I think is a great fit for the Tobin,” said Felix Padrón, director of the city’s Department for Culture and Creative Development.

The company will perform in the Alvarez Family Studio Theater, a black box space that’s roomier than its current home, both in terms of performance space — including much higher ceilings — and seating. The Attic seats about 70; the Tobin space will be able to seat up to about 300.

“It gives us a chance to do some work — like Shakespeare, for instance, and some classic, modern American plays — we could not do at Trinity, just because the space was not right,” said Roberto Prestigiacomo, producing artistic director for the company.

The company, which typically has produced four shows each year, will not have sole usage of the studio space. It will be available for rental by other arts groups to maximize usage.

AtticRep’s recent seasons have included “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe,” “American Buffalo” and “Lincolnesque.”

The move also will allow the company to function as a true repertory company, meaning it will have ability to restage some of its productions.

The Tobin is on track to open in September. AtticRep will remain at Trinity through August.

The company will spend the next eight months laying the foundation for its big move. That includes some re-branding — a new logo and website are under development— as well as expanding the board.

There has been talk about changing the company’s name, but that idea has been tabled for the foreseeable future.

The company has been happy at Trinity, where Prestigiacomo teaches. The artistic team decided to make a move when a newly formed student theater company at the university needed the Attic space, Frederick said.

A 2014-15 season has been selected, Prestigiacomo said, but it won’t be announced until later.


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